Shooting: NRAI to appoint new panel of coaches

Image for illustration purpose
Image for illustration purpose

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) is in the process of setting up a new panel of coaches to oversee national camps in both the junior and senior categories.

The NRAI has also invited applications from foreign coaches in rifle, pistol and shotgun (trap and skeet) categories to help Indian shooters prepare for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, according to a circular issued on January 11.

To strengthen the coaching system, the NRAI will also appoint high-performance managers and coaches at state and district levels.

In December last year, the NRAI terminated the contract of all its coaches following disappointing performances at the Tokyo Olympics where 15 shooters took part, but the contingent returned empty handed. India failed to win a medal in the 2016 Rio Games as well.

The NRAI also didn’t recommend contract renewal of two foreign experts, Pavel Smirnov (pistol) and Oleg Mikhailov (rifle), to the sports ministry after the Tokyo Games debacle.

Conflict of interest

Several former India shooters, who were involved as coaches with national squads, also held positions at state-run academies or worked with private institutions.

This raised the issue of conflict of interest post the Tokyo Games last year. Questions have also been asked about whether these coaches are biased instead of picking shooters purely on merit.

The issue of conflict of interest is certain to come up again when the NRAI sits down to pick a new panel of coaches. Coaches associated with academies or institutions are eligible to apply for NRAI coaching positions provided they get a no objection certificate from their employers.

Shooters who have represented India and won a medal at the national level can apply for coaching roles. The candidate should also have a minimum of three years of coaching experience.

High-performance managers in rifle, pistol and shotgun disciplines will also be appointed to monitor and supervise the development of the shooters.

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Edited by Sanjay Rajan
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